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Kyrgyzstan's Bionic Arm For A Better World

Kyrgyzstan's Bionic Arm For A Better World
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Ten-year-old Aliya, a Kyrgyz schoolgirl, has just picked up something with her left hand for the first time. Her eyes light up with the realization of what she can do.

It is a bionic prosthetic arm produced within Kyrgyzstan that enabled her to do it.

In this Central Asian country, disabilities can mean exclusion from work, education, and ordinary social interaction. For Kyrgyz without upper limbs, the cost of an imported prosthetic that would enable them to lead more independent lives can easily outstrip their budgets. Prices range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

That prompted six young programmers and doctors in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, to try and come up with a cheaper, locally made alternative.

The projected retail price ($2,000) for their prosthetic arm still equals most of Kyrgyzstan’s per capita purchasing power parity ($3,700), but the team maintains they will continue to look for ways “to help our people.”

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